Keep Albany-Dougherty Beautiful Albany, GA

Keep Albany-Dougherty Beautiful (KADB) partnered with the art departments of Darton State College and Albany State University to paint a garden scene mural at the Adult Day Care Center of AARC. In December , KADB’s @Lowe’s Community Improvement Grant allowed KADB to install ceiling fans, pavers, flower beds and three raised garden boxes at AARC. The art students were elated to see the smiles on the AARC clients faces as they viewed the mural.

Keep The Rez Beautiful, Ridgeland, MS

Keep The Rez Beautiful volunteers braved several cold days in December putting the finishing touches on a new Pollinator/Sensory Garden, a welcomed addition to the newly established Turtle Point Nature Area. Thanks to Lowe’s and KAB, the new addition will benefit pollinators that are needed to increase fruit and vegetable production. Native plants including Butterfly Milkweed, Great Coneflowers and other native plants including fruit and nut trees will serve as food for the Monarch Butterfly, which is in decline nationally, as well as other wildlife in the area.

The Reservoir serves as a flyway for many birds and insects. This addition will provide a resting place and food for the travelers. The sensory aspect of the garden is designed to stimulate the senses with the courtesy of plants that engage one’s senses of sight, smell, touch, taste and sound. Blueberry bushes and Willow trees are just one example. Native Americans used the bark of willow trees to produce a type of aspirin.

Located on Pelahatchie Bay on the 33,000-acre Ross Barnett Reservoir, the five-acre grassed nature area was created from spoil dredged from the Reservoir caused from urban sprawl. A new walking trail and a kayak launch is creating new friends for KRB. People visiting the area are excited about the new garden area and a walking trail that provides a view of the Reservoir. Many are wanting to know how they can help! Build it and they will come. There are many KRB surprises on the way for this nature area located in a blighted area between two 50-year-old subdivisions.

Keep Genesee County Beautiful, Flint Michigan

I’m in DC building picnic tables with one of our favorite corporate partners at the KAB conference. It may be snowing to the north, but things are heating up here with some great conference sessions and resources along with amazing peers from across the country.

Keep Terre Haute Beautiful

Thanks to #Lowes this trail now provide additional access to the Holly Arboretum. It features an accessible surface for visitors. The Holly Arboretum in Deming Park is the largest Arboretum in a public park in the world.

Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, Indianapolis, IN

Creating Beauty in the Circle City

In 2014, thanks to a generous grant from the KAB/Lowe’s Community Partners Grant Program, Keep Indianapolis Beautiful (KIB) created the Westminster Pocket Park on the Near Eastside of Indianapolis. Partnering with our local Lowe’s store and 17 Lowe’s Heroes, KIB was able to create an amazing community asset.

The vision for the Westminster Pocket Park is to become a vibrant community gathering place, an outdoor sanctuary for clients of all ages. Features such as sculpted benches and art will encourage community members as well as residents of the Westminster Neighborhood Services Adult Services Center to linger—enjoying the beauty of nature and learning about the benefits of native plants to the environment. Due to the large number of seniors living in the surrounding community, the Westminster Pocket Park is a “senior-friendly” greenspace where residents of all ages can gather and interact in a safe space.

In the fall of 2014, KIB hosted a check presentation event to commemorate the space and kick off the Lowe’s volunteer day. Volunteers quickly got to work, prepping the site for the functional art, and helping to plant thousands of native grasses. All of this work will provide accessible greenspace and help bring neighbors together, serving as a green destination to revitalize a neighborhood where vacant lots are plentiful and greenspace scarce.

Now that this space is complete, all that’s left is for the plants to bloom next spring, hopefully in time for the completion of the adjacent Adult Services Center, and then we will start to see increased use of the space by the community!

Montgomery Clean City Commission, AL

Montgomery Clean City Commission (MCCC) has been busy, busy, busy during the months of October and November working on preparations for the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Voting March. In March 2015, the eyes of the world will be on Montgomery, Ala., as the capital city celebrates this historic event. MCCC is doing everything in its power ensure Montgomery is looking good.

With the help of a KAB/Lowe’s Community Partners Grant, one of our projects was painting and roofing a home along historic Oak Street and providing the Loveless Community Center with a facelift. To further enhance the streetscape of Oak Street, the path the marchers took into Montgomery from the St. Jude’s campsite, 35 red bud trees have been planted along the street, also a component of the Lowe’s/KAB grant.

This work was done with the help of volunteers from all walks of life: students, military, community service workers, City of Montgomery employees, staff from House to House and members of Rebuilding Together. Just as the citizens of Montgomery are pulling together to celebrate this momentous event, the citizens of Montgomery pulled together to realize the dream of beautifying and uplifting this significant neighborhood.

Montgomery Clean City Commission is grateful for the help and inspiration provided by Keep America Beautiful and Lowe’s. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.